Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Bunch of Dogs.

P.M. Update: Carlos Quentin may be done for the year!

On a night when I couldn't have cared less whether the Twins won or lost, they played so poorly that it ruined the NFL's opening night for me. And that's hard to do, considering I have Brandon Jacobs (21 car., 116 yards) and Plaxico Burress (10 rec., 133 yards) on a few fantasy teams, and they played pretty well. What a bunch of quitters. We'll need more fight than this to overtake the White Sox, who are now 1.5 games up on our beloved baseball club.

Quick stats:
  1. Minnesota pitchers tossed just 2/3 of an inning that didn't scare me.
  2. Twins batters combined for just four hits against Jesse Litsch, who has a season WHIP of nearly 1.300. That means we should of at least gotten 6-8 hits over nine innings, because our hitters are relative underachievers. Four hits? Barf.
  3. The team scored 4.71 runs per night during the 14-game road trip, but scored zero runs yesterday.
  4. After notching runs vs. such prominent pitchers as John Lackey, AJ Burnett and Ervin Santana, the Twins allowed Litsch to baffle them. Unbelievable.
  5. Justin Morneau and Alexi Casilla both left a total of three men on base.
Here's how it happened: Kevin Slowey gave up 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings while striking out three. He only gave up three runs, which - in theory - gives the team a chance to win, especially after Craig Breslow (good 1/3 inning) struck out Toronto's Joe Inglett to end the inning. Thing is, Slowey was ineffective. Ten baserunners in less than six innings? That means he got lucky, folks. But with the way he's been pitching lately, I can't be all that mad. Of course, Jesse Crain came in and gave up a homer - that's 5 ER in his past 3 2/3 IP (uh, oh). Then came the other solid 1/3 of an inning from Dennys Reyes, who got Adam Lind to ground out. From there, Bobby Korecky (3H, 1BB, 4 ER, 1/3 IP) and Phil Humber (3H, 1 ER, 2/3 IP) brought us home with an abysmal five-run eighth inning to give Toronto a comfortable 9-0 lead. Hopefully that wasn't as frustrating to read as it was to write.

Of the Twins' four hits, Denard Span accounted for half of them, including a leadoff single that was completely wasted by Casilla's follow-up double-play ball. The team didn't even manage a baserunner after the fifth inning. That's right, Jesse-freaking-Litsch retired the final 13 batters.

And with that, the 5-9 road trip comes to an end. A bitter, trying end. And the Twins return home with their tails between their legs, beaten to a pulp by a middle-of-the-road team.

But the great thing about baseball is that you move on to the next day, the next team, the next series. The team needs a clean slate and some familiar scenery. Maybe the Metrodome will cure what ails. Minnesota faces Armando Galarraga (12-4, 3.17 ERA) Friday, Justin Verlander (10-15, 4.74 ERA) Saturday and Chris Lambert (0-1, 6.75 ERA) Sunday. For the Twins, Francisco Liriano (4-3, 3.45 ERA), Scott Baker (8-4, 3.66 ERA) and Glen Perkins (12-3, 4.08 ERA) will try and keep the Tigers at bay until the bullpen collapses in eventual Twins losses. Please guys - Joe Nathan, Crain, Reyes, Bonser, Breslow, etc. - prove me wrong.

Thanks for reading, and have a nice weekend! I'll try to write once, but it's no guarantee with the first Sunday of the NFL season + another college football Saturday coming up. I'm pretty much comatose from 11 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Monday every week.

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